vor breaking

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With the Volvo Ocean Race organization’s lips sewn shut by the lawyers and probably some post-deadly incident PTSD contributing to the blackout there’s not much to talk about, though we have multiple reports that Vestas probably can’t be fixed in Hong Kong and needs to be shipped to Auckland where Bicey can trust the repairs.  The police investigation is locked down tight as well, though there are a few new details in this Morning Post piece.  Fortunately for the VOR staff, there’s a whole mess of time to kill and silly motorboating shit to do over the next week, and it’s possible the news cycle will just sort of slide by while the locals forget about yet another maritime crash.  After all, the number of fishing boat kills in this part of the world is pretty crazy – here’s a report frorm three days ago of another fishing boat collision that killed 7 in the area (including a rescuer), and there’s been at least another once this week.
With so little to discuss, we turn to our local guide Shanghai Sailor for intel on the ground:
Things started to get under way in the Volvo Ocean Race Hong Kong stopover with today’s practice race.
Obviously no Vestas 11th Hour but also no Mapfre as she is still undergoing maintenance with an obvious push to get her ready for Saturday’s in port race right in front of the race village and the round the island race the following day.
For those not familiar with the two inports they will score half points each to give the overall score for the stopover and for those who feel the in port racing doesn’t matter it should be remembered that if the offshore legs result in an overall tie then the result on the inport racing will be the tie breaker.
It may be considered bad luck by some to win the practice race but that didn’t stop Dongfeng and Brunel duking it out at the front of the deleted fleet. Each time the two boats approached the top mark Dongfeng tacked in front of Brunel with the teams selecting opposite marks  and Dongfeng immediately going into a gybe set.
Nothing between them as the second time around Dongfeng had gained a mere boat length after two legs and pulled almost the same move on the Dutch boat. Last lap they changed it up with Dongfeng tacking for right hand mark with Brunel going left but Dongfeng held on to the finish.
Spare a thought though for one sailor where the pain of watching must have matched that she suffered with injuries earlier in the race. When chatting with Annie Lush while watching the practice race I was able to learn she hopes to be fit enough to shortly re-join her Brunel team-mates, perhaps as early as the leg from here to Auckland.
We wish her well.
Shanghai Sailor